PHL rice output likely grew 12.8% in Q1


The country’s rice production in the first quarter may have expanded by 12.8 percent to 4.44 million metric tons (MMT), from 3.93 MMT recorded a year ago.

The Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) made this forecast in its latest report, titled “Updates on January-March 2017 Palay and Corn Forecasts”. The figure is consistent with the projection it made in February.

“Palay production for January-March 2017 may reach 4.44 MMT, 2.1 percent below the January 2017 round forecast of 4.53 MMT, but 12.8 percent higher than the previous year’s output of 3.93 MMT,” the report read.

The projected palay production in the first quarter of the year is higher than the actual first quarter output of 4.36 MMT recorded in 2015.

In the January round of its survey, titled “Rice and Corn Situation Outlook”, the PSA said the probable increase in first quarter rice output is due to the expansion in harvest area. The availability of irrigation water and the use of high-yielding rice varieties would also boost production.

“Probable increments in production are foreseen in all regions, except Calabarzon,” the report read.

In its latest report, the PSA said some areas recorded lower harvests due to unfavorable weather and pest infestation.

“The probable decrease in palay production may be attributed to lower yield as a result of infestation of rats, rice black bug, plant hoppers and stemborer in Iloilo, Sultan Kudarat, South Cotabato, Leyte, Cavite, Negros Oriental, Guimaras, Misamis Occidental and Sarangani,” the report read.

“The continuous and heavy rainfall and strong winds that were experienced during the vegetative and reproductive stages of the crop in Capiz, South Cotabato, Leyte, Compostela Valley, Aurora, Aklan, Surigao Norte and Negros Oriental may cause production of these provinces to go down,” it added.

The PSA noted that continuous and heavy rainfall and strong winds affected the vegetative and reproductive stages of the crop and resulted in the decline in the rice production of Capiz, South Cotabato, Leyte, Compostela Valley, Bohol, Aurora, Aklan and Negros Oriental.

The PSA said harvest area in the January-to-March period may contract to 1.15 million hectares, from 1.16 million hectares, or by 0.9 percent. Also, yield per hectare may decline to 3.85 metric tons (MT), from 3.92 MT.

“Probable decreases in area and yield may be due to floods in Davao, North Cotabato, Negros Occidental, Misamis Occidental and Bukidnon. The adverse effects of Typhoon Nina in December 2016 in Catanduanes and Quezon, and heavy rains caused by tropical depression Auring early January this year in Bohol, Surigao del Norte, Cebu and Agusan del Sur,” the report read.

The PSA noted that about 566,270 hectares of the updated standing crop have been harvested.

As of March 1, about 93.1 percent, or almost 855,790 hectares, of the farmers’ planting intentions for the April-to-June period have materialized.

“Of the 1.43-million-hectare standing palay crop, 19.8 percent were at vegetative stage; 47.0 percent at reproductive stage; and 33.2 percent at maturing stage,” the report read.

The PSA’s palay production forecast in the first quarter is 7.25 percent higher, or about 300,000 MT, higher than the 4.14 MMT projected by the Department of Agriculture (DA).

Citing data from the Philippine Rice Satellite Monitoring (Prism), Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Piñol said palay output in the first quarter increased by 5.34 percent to 4.14 MMT, from the 3.93 MMT, a year go.

Piñol said the increase in production could be attributed to good weather and the use of high-yielding hybrid rice seeds.

The PSA, the government’s major statistical agency, is set to release the actual rice output next month.

The PSA maintained its original corn production forecast of 2.38 MMT for the first quarter. The figure is 24 percent higher than the 1.92 MMT recorded in the same period last year.

The PSA also said that as of March 1, around 289,740 hectares, or 73.9 percent, of the planting intentions for the April-to-June harvests have been materialized.

Earlier, Piñol said agriculture production in the first three months of the year could grow by 2 percent, as favorable weather encouraged farmers to plant more crops.

Piñol said the crops subsector would still be the main driver of the farm sector’s growth during the January-to-March period, particularly rice and corn.

The DA is eyeing to hike palay production to 18.57 MMT this year. The figure is 5.33 percent higher than last year’s output of 17.63 MMT.


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